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Look to the Dutch for true educational pluralism

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“During the seven-decade political struggle in the Netherlands to allow parents to select schools corresponding to their religious convictions, Abraham Kuyper articulated a concept of “sphere sovereignty” that translates, in policy terms, into principled structural pluralism,” says Charles L. Glenn in this week’s Acton Commentary. “That Dutch experience, and its resolution in the “Pacification” of 1917, is highly relevant for the present situation in the United States.”

Popular schooling is often a primary focal-point for attempts to make effective the hegemony of the sovereign state over every aspect of society, to achieve not only obedience to laws and policies but also an inner disposition immune to alternative or partial loyalties. Employed in a monopolistic manner as under totalitarian regimes, it poses the profoundest threat to freedom. Educational pluralism, of the sort that emerged spontaneously as the American nation developed but has been under growing threat in recent decades, is the best protection against this profoundly undemocratic abuse.

The full text of the essay can be found here.

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Joe Carter Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).

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